The Falcon Heavy rocket is something that has got everyone in the world excited about the possibilities. Extra care is being taken to make sure that the rocket is fully prepared prior to testing. A lot of money has gone into the design and it would be catastrophic to have a destructive failure in testing. In case you haven’t heard about it or had time to keep up, here are 10 things that you didn’t know about the Falcon Heavy rocket.
1. The first test was canceled at the last minute
The Falcon Heavy was set for a static-fire engine test in January of 2018. The demonstration was a highly anticipated event, but some logistical and safety concerns prompted the testing to be canceled. The risk of a failure was too great and with such an expensive piece of equipment being prepared for a historical journey to Mars, technicians and leaders of the team were not willing to take any chances. At the time of the cancellation, execs from Space X were not able to give out any information on when the test would be rescheduled and this left a lot of people with even more anticipation and perhaps a little fear as to whether there is actually going to be a trip to Mars.
2. The rescheduled test was a big success
The testing of the Falcon Heavy was rescheduled for Tuesday, February 6, 2018. It successfully lifted off at 3:45 pm Eastern Time from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. The news of the success spread like wildfire and numerous videos were captured to preserve the moment in history. If you missed the launch and would like to see it, you can easily find footage with a quick internet search on the web. There are several sites that host the exciting video.
3. It’s the most powerful rocket in the world
The Heavy Falcon rocket is the most powerful operational rocket that has ever been built by mankind. It claims this title by a factor of two. It has the power of eighteen 747 jet aircraft thanks to its three Falcon 9 engine cores which feature 27 Merlin engines. It delivers a whopping 5 million pounds of thrust at its liftoff.
4. The Falcon Heavy really is heavy
The ultra-powerful rocket is massive in weight. This is why it requires such heavy-duty power to help it escape the gravity of earth. It weighs a massive 64 metric tons and figures show that its mass is larger than a 737 aircraft that is filled with fuel, luggage, the crew and a full roster of passengers. The total weight of the Falcon Heavy is 141,000 pounds.
5. The contents of Musk’s maiden voyage will surprise you
When the Falcon Heavy made its maiden voyage into space, Elon Musk had decided that he would include a dummy payload to test it out first. He put his own personal Tesla Roadster into the cargo section. While there was an ongoing debate about whether he was just kidding about that, those who took him at his word won the argument when the red Tesla blasted off towards Mars. Elon has a lot of faith in the rocket’s ability to perform as expected. Musk has already put a lot of dedication and finances into the project.
6. The Falcon Heavy has had a lot of delays
SpaceX had established a schedule for production and testing, but there have been a lot of delays, even prior to the latest testing issue that pushed the project back. The first announcement of the Falcon Heavy was made all the way back in 2011. The original forecasts for the project were to have the rocket prepared and ready to make its first voyage by 2013, or at the latest, 2014. Here it is 2018 and the first test was successful in February. The SpaceX team is working with a lot of new and innovative technologies, but these things take time to test and to perfect. With such dangerous space travel and so much on the line, it’s far better to play it safe than to be sorry.
7. The rocket is intended to transport passengers into space
After it’s given the all clear to proceed, the Falcon Heavy will be the rocket that takes civilian passengers out of the atmosphere and up into space. Elon Musk is setting up a program that will cost a mere $90 million per passenger but he is offering to set up a standard payment plan. He’s even discussed the possibility of offering a few discount seats.
8. The ultimate goal is to carry passengers to Mars
Mars is an exciting new frontier that has been the subject of films for decades. Although just a few decades ago the notion of civilians traveling to Mars has seemed like something out of a science fiction film or novel, it’s something that may be closer than any of us imagined. Elon Musk’s dream and goal are to develop a commuter system that will transport humans from Earth to the planet Mars. We don’t know any of the details other than what the Nasa program has delivered with regard to the data they retrieved from the Mars Rover, but the only way to find out is to explore.
9. The Falcon Heavy won’t take anyone to Mars
We know that the Falcon Heavy is not going to be the rocket that will transport human beings to Mars. It will be something much bigger and advanced, but it’s a start. This may be the invention that begins civilians on their journey to becoming comfortable with space travel and it may well set the stage for what is soon to come in the next stage of human space travel.
10. The Dummy Driver is a tribute to David Bowie
It’s quite touching and fitting that the dummy driver that was sent up in the Falcon Heavy was wearing a SpaceX space suit, but the very special thing about it is that the crew named him “Starman.” We think that this was a very nice tribute to the late and sorely missed singer/entertainer David Bowie.